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Volleyball: Cajuns Sun Belt Tournament Run Ends in Semifinals
JONESBORO, Ark. – Third-seeded Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball saw its run in the 2017 Sun Belt Conference Tournament come to an end on Saturday as No. 2 seed Texas State claimed a 3-1 (25-16, 18-25, 25-22, 25-14) win in the semifinal round.
The Ragin' Cajuns (21-11) held the edge on defense with a 14-6 advantage in blocks, but the Bobcats (24-8) benefitted from a 64-40 advantage in kills and out-hit Louisiana .221-.114.
With the lead in the in the match hanging in the balance in the third set, Louisiana got a block from Stacey Reilly to cut the Texas State lead to 23-22. The Bobcats, though, turned the Ragin' Cajuns away with back-to-back kills to lay claim to a 2-1 lead.
Louisiana's attempt at forcing a deciding fifth set was spoiled as Texas State forced the Ragin' Cajuns into a -.098 hitting percentage in the fourth frame.
The loss brings a likely end to a record-breaking season for Heather Mazeitis-Fontenot's group. The squad is being considered for a potential spot in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
LEADING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
Hali Wisnoskie topped the Ragin' Cajuns in kills for the second straight night, tallying 12. Wisnoskie picked up her 17th double-digit outing of her rookie campaign.
Stacey Reilly equaled her output from Friday's quarterfinal round finishing with 10 kills. It was the 19th double digit kill total of her senior campaign and 58th of her career.
Setter Jessica Bartczyszyn added 11 digs to her 35 assists for her ninth double-double of the season.
Libero Sydney Davis led a quartet of Cajuns with double-digit digs finishing with 28. Davis' season total increased to 603 making her only the second player in program history to reach 600 in a single season joining Lindsay Brown who holds the record with 605 in 2010.
Dree'Ana Abram posted a match-high six blocks (2 BS, 4 BA) which increased her season tally to 126. Abram recorded the second-most blocks in the rally scoring era, trailing only Clarice Laires' 129 in 2001.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Texas State broke free in the first set with a 4-0 run that opened a 12-5 lead. Louisiana cut the deficit to 13-9 following an ace from Davis and block by Abram, but the Bobcats responded with six unanswered points to take control.
- In the second set, the Ragin' Cajuns caught up to the Bobcats when a Wisnoskie kill forged an 8-all tie. Three straight Texas State attack errors, the last two off Louisiana blocks, gave the Ragin' Cajuns an 11-8 lead. The final push came at 17-15 when a three-point spurt created a five-point edge.
- Texas State made the first move in a back-and-forth third set, getting a pair of kills and consecutive Cajuns miscues (attack error, reception error) to pull ahead 19-15. Louisiana was down four until winning three straight rallies to slice the Bobcats lead to 23-22. Erin Hoppe and Amy Pflughaupt found the floor to end the set in Texas State's favor.
- The Bobcats raced out to a 5-0 lead in the fourth set and never trailed. The Ragin' Cajuns responded with a four-point spurt, but Texas State held onto the lead with a kill from Jaliyah Bolden. Louisiana's -.098 hitting percentage prevented any opportunity from overcoming the Bobcats.
FOLLOW THE RAGIN' CAJUNS
For more information on Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Volleyball, as well as all of Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along with the team on Facebook (/ULVolleyball), Twitter (@RaginCajunsVB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsVB).
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